You do, you judge. Maybe you call it “discernment” and that makes you feel better about it. I mean…we do have to discern which movie is good for our kids and which one will turn them into a psychopath murderer. We do have to discern wether or not THAT friend is the right one for our kid. Will they be a bad influence and have our perfect little person sneaking out at night and drinking stolen beer at a playground? Seriously…you have to think about that stuff.
Take this example. You know the kid. The one wearing black stone washed jeans (it’s actually still a thing, or a thing again) and some band shirt…also black…with a really weird name. Someone has colored designs on this poor child’s entire left forearm with black sharpie. This person’s hair is all wrong. If it is a boy, it’s way too long. If it’s a girl, it’s way too short. And what color is it? Blue, washed out green? Who knows. Also, you are totally turned off by the cheap plastic bracelets and combat boots. Why did she think that color of lipstick looked good? Is that deep purple or black…you really can’t tell. You try not to stare. They will probably slash your tires in the parking lot. Where is security? Surely this child needs supervision.
Or maybe…maybe you’re wrong.
Maybe that child is compassionate, an artist, a thinker and a the best friend any one ever had. Maybe she is loyal beyond what is even good for her own sweet heart. Maybe she has a gift with the elderly and can make delicious desserts. Maybe she loves fiercely and knows just when to make a witty remark that will make an entire room of people crack up. Maybe she loves animals and is kind and gentle with every creature she meets. Maybe she loves Jesus and would love to share her faith with you. But you will never know that because all you see is a kid, wearing black with weird hair and crazy lipstick. You don’t see a kid that is obsessed with music and art and plans album covers for bands who don’t yet exist and sketches scenes of music videos that you’ll never understand. You won’t get it because you won’t try.
You like normal kids. You like kids that fit the mold. It makes you feel more comfortable. And it really is all about you.
I have one of those kids that people look at and think they can make some determination about her. They do it all the time.
Just remember you can’t always judge a person by what they look like on the outside. That isn’t where Christ looks anyway.
Next time you see a kid with questionable fashion, or interesting hair, give them a chance. Don’t assume you know the whole story.
(lipstick photo from http://gorgeousingrey.com/how-to-wear-black-lipsticks/)